Pubdate: Tue, 12 Mar 2013
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Matthew Claxton
Cited: Sensible BC:


Langley Township had to change course after denying permission for a 
pro-pot group to meet

A forum on marijuana legalization is back on at Langley Township's 
civic facility, after initially being blocked for being "illegal."

Sensible BC is a campaign to decriminalize marijuana, similar to 
movements that have recently seen recreational use legalized in 
Washington State and Colorado.

The group is setting up public forums around the Lower Mainland, and 
planned to schedule one in Langley for around March 20.

However, when the group contacted the Township about using its 
council chambers to host an event, it was sent a terse denial.

"Regarding your request, The Township will not be able to provide 
space for this event as it would involve the use of a Township 
facility to advocate for what at this time is an illegal activity," 
said the message from a staff member.

Sensible BC director Dana Larsen, a longtime advocate of 
decriminalizing marijuana, contacted the Langley Advance about the issue.

"This kind of ideological censorship is simply not acceptable in a 
democratic society," said Larsen in a statement. "The Township of 
Langley cannot deny public facilities to a group because of their 
political advocacy. We are advocating to change the law, not to break it."

The decision was reversed after Sensible BC complained to senior 
Township officials.

Mayor Jack Froese said it was a misunderstanding by one staff member.

"They didn't understand what the purpose was," Froese said.

"I think that staff member was acting in good faith," he added.

Sensible BC is now hosting forums in Surrey, Richmond, Coquitlam and 
Burnaby this month, but its website does not show a listing for a Langley event.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom